Sludge Material Hits Residents, Leaves Mess

Just as he does every day, Marvin Love was blowing leaves off the grounds of a medical clinic on 30th Avenue. He says a truck filled with sludge suddenly stopped in front of the building.

"All that slush came over the top of it and fell in the street and hit me in the back cause I had just turned," Love said. "I didn't know what it was until I felt it, all that sludge that came off of there and he pulled away and went right on through it and here comes another truck down through there and got us a second time."

Police closed one of the northbound lanes of 30th Avenue for about two hours. Public works crews used heavy equipment to scoop the sludge from the road. Then they pressure washed it clean. The trucks are headed to a disposal site on Dedeaux Road.

Clinic employee Tory Brown was right outside waiting for the office manager to open when she says she got splashed too.

"Basically another truck was right not too far behind the truck, and it went through the mud puddle that was already in the road and then splattered and a big gunk got straight in my hair," Brown said. She says she had to go inside the clinic to wash her hair.

Gulfport police say they're getting numerous complaints from citizens who have seen the sludge falling off the trucks onto the roads.

"This is creating some concerns," Gulfport Police Officer Alfred Sexton said. "We want to make the citizens aware that if you see this stuff, slow down, avoid it and be aware that it does create a road hazard."

W.C. Fore Construction is the dredging contractor. Two company representatives refused to talk to us at the accident scene.

Port Director Gary LaGrange says they halted the work temporarily while he, the project engineer and the contractor took steps to prevent another accident. The sludge-laden trucks will only leave the port half loaded and will use only 30th Avenue instead of Highway 49 too.

Another meeting is set for Friday afternoon.